Ever since I found out my wife was pregnant back in August of 2010, I’ve been slowly making changes in my life toward “health” and away from what I thought of as “fit.”
That started with retiring from training for Olympic Weightlifting and all the dreams associated with that.
Then I virtually eliminated all supplements and went on a whole foods only diet, routinely incorporating my own version of Intermittent Fasting.
I then laid the iron down for awhile and focused on bodyweight training and bodyweight mastery skills. Much of this was to rehab from the damages of Oly training. But more importantly, ALL of this was done so I could be the best dad I could be and have as much energy as possible for our little boy, since I am an older first-time dad.
The results have been impressive (to me):
I’ve gained a bodyweight Pistol, one of the ultimate signs of reflexive stability and I can drop into one at anytime. And I’ve lost about 20 pounds of fat, getting back into a 32 inch waist pants – something I haven’t done since 1991. I look and feel much younger than I did in 2010 when I started this journey.
Recently, I started exploring other options to improve my health, namely, raw foods. I stumbled upon them through Dale Buchanan, an RKC and raw foods/vegan expert.
I sat down and interviewed him for your benefit – namely, how incorporating some – hey, relax – I said “some” – raw foods and vegan foods can help your kettlebell training.
Don’t “pooh-pooh” this cause you’re a “meat ‘n potatoes” kind of person like me. You’ll find some amazing benefits in this interview that will answer some of the questions nagging at you, namely, “Why don’t I have more energy?” and “How can I lose more body fat?”. You’ll find those answers and more in this interview.
GN: Tell us a little bit about your background, Dale. Howʼd you get into kettlebells?
DB: In February 2009 I saw a really cheesy infomercial on TV promoting kettlebell training and decided to pick up a few kettlebells and try using them. I made a YouTube video and posted it on my channel and some guy trashed it and told me I need to get instruction. A month later, in May 2009 I’m attending kettlebell certs with only 1 month of practice. I passed both and started teaching classes, then in the fall of that year I was introduced to Hardtyle kettlebell training at an Andrea Ducane workshop here in South FL. Shortly after I became and HKC and and RKC. I now teach about 10 clients a week at a small kettlebell studio that I own called Supreme Ultimate Fitness in Boca Raton.
GN: Yeah, my wife was there assisting Andrea, that’s how I first heard about you.
So, howʼd you get into “raw” foods and “vegan” foods and what benefits have you seen from eating raw and vegan? Has it affected your KB training and if so, how? Do you still eat an omnivoreʼs diet or are you strictly vegan now?
DB: I have been into several components of raw foods for over 20 years including juicing fresh raw fruits and vegetables, detox or cleansing the body, and food combining or mono meals (eating only 1 food at a time). In June 2010 I went deep into a 90 day cleanse which included colon hydrotherapy and eating a 100% raw food diet which consisted of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. During that time I did heal all of my allergies, sinus congestion, skin irritations, and other minor health issues. I also lost 20 lbs of muscle during the cleanse and I realized that I did not do everything correctly correctly and did not have enough protein while trying to continue lifting heavy kettlebells.
I did like how I felt from eating mostly plant based foods and started using a popular brown rice protein powder to supplement my diet. It worked pretty well I got got most of my muscle and strength back. Now I follow what’s referred to as a “high raw” diet, where about 70% of my intake is raw plant based foods and the additional food is usually sushi, other fish, some chicken on occasion, and sometimes starchy carbs like breads or rice.
Raw food is predigested super foods for the body. Since there is no alteration of the foods, the vitamins, minerals, and enzymes (for digestion) are maximized. Plus raw food is high in water content and out bodies are in fact 70% water. This helps keep us hydrated and transfer the needed nutrients to the muscle cells.
GN: What are the health benefits of eating a diet higher in plant based foods? You got started by detoxing – howʼd that affect your body? How do you think itʼll help our kettlebell training?
DB: Mainly I have seen less inflammation in the joints, less muscle soreness, and quicker recovery time. At 47 years old, I have found that heavy and intense kettlebell training session of 20-30 min each followed by a ton of active recovery works best for me. I have also been a T’ai Chi and meditation instructor since 1997 and I apply those healing modalities to my practice.
Eating mostly raw and plant based foods has greatly helped my overall energy levels also, which is needed for high intensity training with kettlebells. Detoxing helps you to go inside and work with your body from the inside out, much like my T’ai Chi training. When you can get rid on the blockage, in this case, the crap in your bodies internal organs, everything functions much better and efficiently.
GN: So raw and plant based foods have more enzymes in them and that helps with no only a higher work output but also facilitate recovery. Sounds like a good deal to me.
Ok, so letʼs talk about the obvious elephant in the room here – weight loss. Most people here in the the States, North America, and Europe, are inundated with weight loss products, so thatʼs mostly what we think about. Should we change our focus from “weight loss” to “health” and if so why? Is there a connection between the two, and if so, from your experience, what is it?
DB: In my opinion, it’s best to focus on the body from the inside out. In other words, work on healing the body first, then optimizing the internal organs with high quality foods. People may be thinking that they don’t have anything to heal in the body, which usually is not true. Even if someone looks perfect on the outside, it’s not an indication of what’s happening internally with the liver, kidneys, colon, lungs, and digestive system.
Once the body’s internal organs are optimized and clean, then we can just wait for the rest to fall into place. Through proper exercise and focus the weight should come off easier and the body composition should improve. Also, from recent personal experience, I believe that weight gain is greatly due to the stress in our lives, so again it makes sense to “go inside” first and work on the outside later through exercise.
GN: No doubt. I firmly believe this too – hence my recommendation that most people focus on shorter 20-30 minute workouts, three times a week – because working out is “stress” – and we already have way too much of that in our lives already – coincidentally like you do with your own workouts. Life is already stressful enough and that’s about all we can recover from.
GN: Yeah, man, you look great. Wish I could say the same about the gray hair thing… So tell us, howʼd you start “Daleʼs Raw Foods?” Itʼs kind of a departure from what you were doing before, right?
DB: Yes it is. I started Dale’s Raw Foods in Jan 2011 out of encouragement from many key people in my life. In July 2010 I brought some raw vegan protein bars, that I hand made in my kitchen, to a Kettlebells Basics Workshop. After the workshop I handed out my bars and the 8 people there all went crazy over them. They told me I should sell them and I laughed out loud and explained that I am a fitness guy, I know nothing about the food business. Throughout the rest of that year I kept brining variations of my bars into the workshops and private sessions to get feedback and each time it was always positive.
At the beginning of 2011, after seeing some of my videos on raw foods and detox, my business coach Rocco Castellano told me that my future was in the raw food business and to pursue that side of my career. I followed his advice and the rest is history. The coolest thing is that several of the people who first tried my bars in June 2010 are still my best customers.
GN: That’s cool. It’s amazing how sometimes we just “fall into” what we were meant to do. So switching gears a little bit here, let me be blunt: I was never a big fan of anything vegan – in fact I avoided it like the plague cause all I thought of or was exposed to was tofu and other soy based garbage.
It wasnʼt until I tried your bars and protein powder that I could see myself incorporating a lot more plant based foods, other than the obvious veggies as a side with my meals and some nuts here or there. But I donʼt have the time or desire to prepare extra fruit and vegetables, which I’m sure a lot of people can relate to. Thatʼs why I started buying your stuff. Tell us about some of the major problems with traditional supplements on the market today.
DB: First of all, it’s the claims they make that irritate me most. Many of the supplement companies go straight for people’s emotions and tell them that by taking their product they will look a certain way. I’m not a big fan of before and after pics or stories. I believe that if a product or company is good, then people will naturally tell others and the need for dramatic marketing will not be necessary. At Dale’s Raw Foods we simply make food products that are good for you and when you like them you will order more. That’s how our company has grown so fast, by being real and simple.
GN: Ok, so that’s completely counter-marketing-industry… But it’s obviously worked for you – after all I’m actually eating “vegan” foods! Ha! Ok, tell us more about what most people are eating in their supplements.
DB: There are 5 major ingredients used by most that make most protein bars on the market: 1) Soy Protein Isolate 2) High Fructose Corn Syrup, 3) Fractionated Palm Kernel Oil, 4) Sugar Alcohols, and 5) Artificial Sweeteners. All of these 5 ingredients are cheap fillers that don’t really help the body.
GN: I think that’s a mild understatment there, Dale, when you say they “don’t really help the body.” But I know that you stay away from pummeling or criticizing other people’s stuff.
But for our reader’s sake, I will. They should know that High Fructose Corn Syrup is way sweeter to the palette than traditional table sugar and cheaper to make and therefore use. It’s hypothesized that this causes a faster and larger insulin response in the body and because of such it’s been implicated as one of the primary causes in the increase in diabetes, especially among children, because it’s literally in ALL of our foods.
And sugar alcohols – they’re a great way to lose weight because they go right through you and take everything else with them – if you know what I mean.
Let’s get to a big issue for me. Soy.
Why donʼt you use soy in your products? What do you use instead and why? How does it impact strength and conditioning levels?
DB: What I am referring to here is not soy itself, but Soy Protein Isolate. The marketing would have you believe that soy is an excellent protein source for women because of the isoflavones found in it. In reality, studies have indicated that these soy isoflavones can actually be TOXIC because of how the soy is processed (fermented soy products such as tofu are fine, just fyi). In addition, SPI was actually considered a WASTE product in soy processing until recently, when it was discovered that money could be made by passing it off as a protein source. It’s cheap and definitely NOT a high-quality protein.
I recommend and use 3 plant based proteins that are much better for the body; Pea Protein, Organic Sprouted Brown Rice Protein, and Hemp Protein. These 3 must be combined together in the right ratios to produce the best amino acid profile. Combining them this way allows for high amounts of branched chain amino acids (BCAA), Arginine, and Glutamine. Plus it mixes really well and with the right flavoring, tastes great. Proteins high in these 5 amino acids can help increase strength and decrease recovery after hard workouts.
GN: For our readers: BCAAs are important because they aid in protein synthesis and recovery from workouts, especially intense kettlebell workouts. Arginine boosts immune system function, helps detox your liver (where you burn fat), and is good for male fertility. And glutamine also boost your immune system’s function and is thought to be muscle sparing. Good stuff Dale.
Ok, this is going to sound strange coming from a die-hard steak and potatoes guy, but I absolutely love your protein bars. I cannot believe that you could make a plant-based protein bar taste that good. My wife, who hates traditional supplements because they all have that “manufactured” taste even loves them. How do you 1) make them taste so good, and 2) pack them full of so much protein, and 3) make them so small instead of the monster garbage bars you have to choke down that are filled with all kinds of chemicals I canʼt pronounce?
DB: This is a trick of the trade:)
Actually, I spend a great deal of time always improving my bars so they taste amazing. I’m always tweaking the recipe. People don’t realize how much work goes into running a food business and creating amazing products. The unique flavors include Blueberry Macadamia, Raspberry Hazelnut, and Key Lime Quinoa, all came to be in visions. I never conducted taste tests or asked anybody’s opinion. It’s similar to how a musician suddenly has an idea for a hit song and sits at the piano to create, or an artist just picks up the brush and paints a masterpiece. The creativity is flowing and the info comes to the person with no blockages.
I pack them with so much protein because I don’t use fillers and all of the foods I use actually have some protein in it. So while most of he protein is from the powder, some of it is from the nuts, fruit, and superfoods. These bars are 65g and “hand packed” one at a time by an actual person not a machine. We literally squeeze the nutrients together with our hands to enhance the flavor and texture of the bars. That’s how they can be so small with so much dense nutrition.
GN: That’s one of the things that surprised me – how small they were compared to what’s sold on the shelves in our health food stores. I didn’t have to chew all day long. I already mentioned this before – but the taste was amazing! And that actually means something coming from me cause I have had the mindset in the past that I should just eat it because it’s good for me, regardless of the taste. (Tomatoes are the exception. Will not eat those raw. Ever.)
Obviously I like your foods – I canʼt really bring myself to call them supplements cause you make them out of real foods, not chemicals – whatʼs the short and long term benefits to someone like me who eats a lot of meat and veggies of adding in more plant based foods?
DB: First of all, when you include more raw plant based foods in your diet, you are adding foods with volume. Fruits and vegetables take up more space per 100 calories then a price of meet, for example. When you add more volume you get full quicker. This is great for weight loss. Plus the enzymes in RAW food are like living foods to help aid in digestion. Say goodbye to heartburn, bloating, and constipation when you eat a high raw diet.
GN: Yeah, I noticed that after eating your bars and protein powders. None of that at all. Which is very surprising because I always get gassy after traditional supplements.
DB: Second, plant based foods, especially greens, are packed with vital phyto chemicals that you cannot get from any other source. The sun will activate high levels of vitamins and minerals for our bodies to readily use and it’s predigested. This is important, because our bodies spend so much time trying to digest and assimilate cooked and processed foods that it can actually make us sick. Remember the last time you ate a big meal of meat and potatoes and fell asleep shortly after? That’s not going to happen when eating a huge bowl of fruit and a big salad of greens.
GN: Yeah, that does tend to happen to me. More when I add in the potatoes and a heavy grain-based dessert. Makes sense…
DB: Third, when you include more raw foods in your body that get into your cells within seconds to help energize and repair, you can actually feel the difference. When you body gets what it needs in the form of nutrition, it’s highly satisfied and you feel good. In my opinion, RAW food is the best supplement.
GN: You know, if you had told me this a couple of months ago, I would’ve said you’re crazy and gone down the vegan rabbit hole. But I actually notice a BIG difference in energy levels after eating your protein powders and bars. And I’d say it’s within 10 minutes. And it’s not an artificial energy like I’ve gotten in the past, say, from Red Bull or coffee. And that’s important to me because as I’ve gotten older, energy has become a commodity, especially with a one-year old.
Ok, I mentioned this earlier, but Iʼll say it again – both my wife and I are big fans of your protein powder and your bars. We noticed two major things about them: Thing 1 is how good they taste – much better, more “natural” and “pure” than the “engineered” powders and bars we used to get and Thing 2 is how well they digest and how much energy we have after using them. I want Kettlebell Secrets members to experience what we have, so why donʼt you tell them about the special deal weʼve put together for them so they can not only improve their health but have more energy for their kettlebell workouts…
DB: The offer I am giving to all Kettlebell Secrets members is a 20% discount on all individual products. This includes Dale’s Raw Protein Bars, Dale’s Raw Protein, and Dale’s Raw Greens. We have a wide variety of flavors, so there should be something for everyone.
The coupon code is RAWFOOD20 and is good for 20% off all items. This offer will expire on June 30 and is not valid with any other offers. It’s also not valid towards our combo packs or bundle offers.
Also, keep in mind that due to our products being perishable foods, we are not able to ship any of them outside of the USA.
Once again, the coupon code is RAWFOOD20 and is good for 20% off all items.
GN: Dale, that’s very generous of you. Thanks!
If you’re looking for delicious, HEALTHY snacks and / or meal replacements to fit into your busy schedule, and give you more energy for your kettlebell workouts, then click the link below and take Dale up on his generous offer.
And then enter the coupon code RAWFOOD20 upon checkout.
Dale, thanks for taking the time to do this interview. I know you’ve got a lot going on right now and it was tough squeezing this into your busy schedule.
DB: No problem, Geoff – glad I could help your members out with their health.
I hope you take Dale up on his generous offer.
I really LOVE his products. It’s nice to have a “supplement” that’s not really a supplement at all, but instead, real food. At the risk of sounding “Pitch-y” here, I have NEVER in 20 years of taking protein supplements, found a protein supplement that-
1) tasted clean and fresh, without that artificial taste
2) didn’t give me gas or make my stomach bloat
3) didn’t give me some form of mild allergic reaction
(My wife says that the dairy based proteins (whey and casein) are the worst for me – give me “death-breath.”)
Dale’s Foods are the BEST protein supplements I’ve ever used and I will continue to use them as long as he makes them.
I’m certain you will agree with me. You’ll have more energy and recover faster from your workouts. Best of all you’ll be taking care of and improving your health. So you’ll start to reach all your other goals faster by default.
Go here now and try them for yourself –